New Master of the Catholic Writers’ Guild

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Dr James Kelly, St Cuthbert’s Society Fellow at Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies, has been named the new Master of the Catholic Writers’ Guild. James, a post-doctoral fellow in Early Modern English Catholicism, will become the youngest head of the London branch of the guild, which was founded in the 1930s by G K Chesterton.

Dr Kelly, has written for, amongst others, BBC History Magazine, Standpoint, The Catholic Times, The Tablet, The Universe and The Times online, and will be responsible for arranging the guild’s programme for the year.

Speaking of his appointment, Dr Kelly said: “I am delighted to have accepted the role of Master of the Catholic Writers’ Guild. Whilst on one level it is a daunting position when one considers those who have previously held the role, it is also a great honour to be recognized by one’s peers in such a way. I would also like to express my thanks to the outgoing Master, Mary Kenny, for her work in ensuring that the guild continues as a thriving society”.

Previous Masters of the Guild include novelist Piers Paul Read and the well-known journalists Melanie McDonagh and Mary Kenny. The Guild was set up to provide mutual help, encouragement and support for Catholic writers and journalists and to host talks and lectures on subjects of interest.
In his role at Durham, James is responsible for creating the “Treasures of Ushaw College” volume which will begin to relate the hidden treasures of Ushaw to the world. He is responsible also for the shaping of and international conference to take place in Durham in June/July 2013 on “What is Early Modern English Catholicism?” which will be a launch event for international scholars and other interested parties wanting to explore the Ushaw libraries, archives, and heritage holdings. The Conference – which will be advertised soon – will take place during the launch of the Lindisfarne and Stonyhurst Gospels exhibition on Palace Green.